Davide Vigano left the Pro UCI road circus last year and immediately jumped on to a new adventure, fixed gear crit racing. In his debut year, he won the Red Hook Crit Championship. An outstanding performance of Davide Viganò who can add this victory to his already impressive race CV. However, he has been unable to an add an individual Red Hook Criterium win to it. This might be the extra motivation Davide needs to come back even stronger for next season.“Yes, I’m happy with the overall victory. But I am a bit disappointed that I did not win a race. I only race to win. Even when I’m playing ping-pong, I want to win” is what he told to our reporter, Date Burgerjon on the matter.
Text: Date Burgerjon
When Davide couldn’t find a team of his liking last year, he was forced to retire. “I wasn’t happy about it. I have the feeling I’m still good enough to compete at the Pro-Tour level. But sometimes it’s not in your own hands”. Viganò tried to find a different team. Moving on from a year with Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec where he had ‘lost the pleasure in pedalling’. “I had to choose between continuing with Androni or something new (learn a new job at Cinelli and racing Red Hook Crits). I chose the latter”.
Not without success. Davide can look back at a stellar debut year in fixed gear racing. Finishing top-4 in all Red Hook Crits and taking the overall championship.
Although Milan is his hometown, the Brooklyn RHC is Davide’s favourite. “It’s the biggest one, the biggest crowd, the most noise and it’s a really nice course.” Coming into the final race in Milan, Davide was looking to secure his overall victory rather than taking major risks for the win. “When they (Cortina and Mariani) attacked I did not respond, it was the first lap that’s usually too early”.
The Red Hook Champion has some trouble understanding the race tactics of the rival teams. “They did not work together. Specialized/Rocket-Espresso pulled a bit some other teams did, but they did not help each other. Nobody responded. If I needed points for the overall victory, I would have tried everything to make sure that they were caught”.
Davide is happy with Cortina showing up. “It’s good for the sport; more pros should.” Even though Cortina seemed to be cruising to the win, Viganò does not agree. “Don’t get me wrong. He is a powerful rider. But he got lucky with the early attack. Some people now think that a pro can show up and just win easily. I don’t think that is the case. You can also win a Tour de France stage by attacking really early, that does not mean you’re the strongest in the race”.
With the level rising each year. Viganò thinks that fixed gear racing will be a professional part of cycling in the near future. “I think it will be a new discipline, next to road and track etc.”
Bike sponsor Cinelli, which has its factory in Milan, made Davide a unique bike for the RHC final. A red Cinelli ‘Vigarelli’. A clever pun on its famous track frame Vigorelli, named after the legendary Milan velodrome. While his teammates raced a steel Vigorelli, Davide asked for an aluminium frame. “I want a light, stiff bike. So aluminium is better than steel.”. Asked if he would prefer a carbon fibre bike. “Right now Cinelli doesn’t have one. I would have to test it of course. But I don’t see why you couldn’t race a carbon bike in Red Hook”.
As for next season, Davide isn’t changing much in his approach. “I will keep riding for Cinelli Chrome, and I’ll do some more fixed gear crits like the Rapha Nocturne and the Criterium Italia.” Also, he would love to return to the Carolina Speed Week next year. Last year Davide and his teammate Ignazio Moser participated in this American criterium series. “I loved it. It is so fast, and there is a big crowd. Totally different from European crits. It’s like Red Hook Crits on geared bikes.”
Missing the pro life and looking for some extra top-level competition Davide decided to try out for the national pursuit team. “I’m at a training camp right now. It’s going to be difficult. There are a lot of young riders. And I’m old”, Davide (33) jokes. When pointed out that Bradley Wiggins made a successful comeback to the team pursuit at an older age the Italian laughs. “But he is something else, no?”.
For Viganò the team pursuit isn’t anything new. When he was a junior, he won a bronze medal at the European Championships 2001 in the discipline. “It’s not hard for me; I just need some time to get back into it. As far as his ambitions for the track go, he’s not sure yet. “I will start with the World Cup, we’ll see after that.” At the moment Davide is in Chile training for the track cycling World Cups. One thing is sure: Davide found back the pleasure of pedalling.